Four Combat Wounded Veterans Receive Mortgage-Free Homes in One Week

Boot Campaign Partners with Fairway Independent Mortgage and Military Warriors Support Foundation to Turn Heroes into Homeowners During Week of Mortgage-Free Home Presentations

Austin, TX (November 14, 2013) – In the week leading up to Veteran’s Day, the Boot Campaign, together with corporate sponsor Fairway Independent Mortgage, worked together to fulfill the American dream of home ownership, without the obligation of mortgage payments. The four homes were presented to combat-wounded Veterans November 5th-8th in Indianapolis, IN, Mooresville, NC, Fayetteville, NC and Charlotte, NC. 

Boot Campaign’s Housing Initiative wants to ensure that service members, veterans and their families have support and access to one of the most basic human needs – shelter. The Boot Campaign is helping to facilitate “forever home” ownership for wounded service members through mortgage-free home presentations alongside Military Warriors Support Foundation, a program partner of the Boot Campaign.

To date, Fairway Independent Mortgage has sponsored 13 home presentations through the Boot Campaign’s Heroes Into Homeowners program.   

If you are interested in becoming a corporate sponsor of the Boot Campaign’s Heroes Into Homeowners program, please contact Gwen@BootCampaign.com 

November 5, 2013: Gordon Campbell

Indianapolis, IN

Sergeant First Class Gordon Campbell III was the first combat-wounded Veteran to be presented with a mortgage-free home during the Home Giveaway Week sponsored by Boot Campaign corporate partner, Fairway Independent Mortgage. Gordon, his wife Sara, and their two daughters were presented with keys to a home in Muncie, IN. 

Campbell joined the U.S. Army to serve his country and was a member of the heroic Outlaw Platoon, “I deployed under (Ret) CPT Sean Parnell, who wrote Outlaw Platoon, a book about our time spent in Paktika Province,” said Campbell, who continued, “ I have the deepest respect for Sean, and am glad to call him not just my friend, but my brother. “

In January 2006, six weeks before Campbell’s second deployment to Afghanistan, he and his wife had their first child. He did not come home from this deployment until May of 2007.  During this deployment, he received a Purple Heart for receiving shrapnel to his arms and an ARCOM with valor for taking over an M2 .50 caliber machine gun when the gunner was injured, which in turn stopped the advance of enemy forces. Campbell’s injuries have caused him to have severe, chronic headaches and a blast from an explosive device, caused a tear in his left shoulder and also a tear and shifting of discs in his lower back. 

Campbell’s future plans include attending college.

November 6, 2013: Kyle Lewis

Lake Norman, NC

Retired Sergeant Kyle Lewis was presented with a mortgage-free home in Atlanta, GA.  Lewis was presented with the mortgage-free home during a Fairway Independent Mortgage “Boot Camp” event held in Lake Norman, NC. 

As a teenager, Lewis participated in JROTC and joined the military right after high school.  “My instructors were Infantry, Special Forces and they were my role models,” said Lewis.

While deployed to Afghanistan in 2006, Lewis was wounded in combat.  It was this injury that awarded Lewis the Purple Heart.  He deployed a second time in 2009 where he was exposed to an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast and was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury. 

Lewis’ plan for the future is to take advantage of the GI Bill to go to school and is considering studying computer sciences.

November 7, 2013: Matthew Brown

Fayetteville, NC

Retired Lance Corporal Matthew J. Brown joined the military right after high school.  Both Brown’s mother and father served in the U.S. armed forces—a reality that prompted Brown to want to enlist from the age of 12. 

Six months after enlisting, Brown was deployed to Iraq, where he sustained a gunshot wound.  “One of my buddies started taking fire, I entered the room to try to pull him out when I was shot by a sniper,” recalls Brown.  Medically retired in October of 2005, Brown earned the Purple Heart and suffers from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  

Brown is now trying to start his own business to help aide other veterans and service members.  Brown has co-authored two books and is currently working on a third, saying “I hope that through my writing, I am able to help other veterans through their struggles after their services.”

November 8, 2013: Grady Bendel 

Charlotte, NC

Retired Army Specialist Grady Bendel was the fourth and final Veteran to be presented with keys to a mortgage-free home in Charlotte, NC during the Home Giveaway Week sponsored by Fairway Independent Mortgage.  

Born in New Orleans, LA and raised in Panama City, FL, Bendel joined the U.S. Army in 2009 as a way to serve his country and protect the community where his children are raised.  Bendel deployed to Afghanistan in July 2009, and was seriously injured just three months later in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion. Serious injuries to his right leg and tailbone have greatly impacted his mobility.  Bendel is also being treated for severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and has a beloved service dog named Minnie offering comfort and support.

Bendel, his wife of 9 years and two daughters, are looking forward to setting up their new home in Greensboro, NC.

More about Boot Campaign’s Heroes Into Homeowners Program…

After acquiring distressed properties from financial institutions, the Military Warriors Support Foundation uses funds provided by Boot Campaign to provide accommodations and modifications for the specific heroes. In addition to the home, the families receive three years of family and financial mentoring. Combat wounded veterans or unmarried Gold Star spouses of Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom are encouraged to apply for a mortgage-free home by visiting www.militarywarriors.org/openhomes

The Boot Campaign

The Boot Campaign is a national 501c3 nonprofit that is dedicated to showing tangible appreciation of our active military, raising awareness of the challenges they face upon return and supporting their transition home. The Boot Campaign cultivates awareness, promotes patriotism, and provides assistance to military, past and present, and their families. Through the sale of its signature military combat boots, general public donations, and corporate sponsorship, the Boot Campaign operates five distinct initiatives — Jobs, Housing, Wellness, Urgent Assistance and Family Support– that are caring for military personnel, past and present, healing from a variety of physical and emotional combat wounds, embodying the campaign motto that, “When They Come Back, We Give Back.” http://BootCampaign.com

About Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

Founded in 1996 by Steve Jacobson and Dean Anderson, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is a mortgage banker headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. The company has 170 locations and approximately 1,600 employees nationwide. The corporate vision is to foster relationships and create a team atmosphere, empowering offices to operate autonomously in their day-to-day operations, while still maintaining strict compliance and consistency across the board. Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation provides all necessary support in the areas of personnel, accounting and compliance. For more information, please visit www.FairwayIndependentMC.com.

Military Warriors Support Foundation

Military Warriors Support Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, founded by Lt. General, Leroy Sisco, USA (Ret), in 2007. Their Mission is to provide support for our nation’s combat wounded heroes and Gold Star Families as they transition out of the military and into their new civilian life. This is a very fragile time for these heroes, and their families, and it is the foundations goal to provide programs that facilitate a smooth and successful transition. These programs include home donation, academic and employment assistance, as well as recreational activities.